Progress of equine serum as a treatment against Covid 19. Clodomiro Picado Institute.

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In the fight against COVID-19, solidarity is one of the values that has been most noticeable since the pandemic began. That principle was made visible again, and this time, China stood out in a strong spirit of cooperation.

The Embassy of the People’s Republic of China in Costa Rica donated 50 milligrams of a synthetic viral protein from SARS-CoV-2 to the Clodomiro Picado Institute of the University of Costa Rica (ICP-UCR). This protein corresponds to the pig that the virus uses to infect the cells of the respiratory system.

The acquired protein was produced by the biotech company Sanyou Biopharmaceuticals, from Shanghai, has cost $ 134,000 US dollars.

This resource is currently used to monitor the immune response of horses immunized by ICP-UCR. The goal is to specify a drug against the disease and, at this time, scientists are already detecting antibodies in the plasma of animals

“This cooperation is a clear example of the closeness between the peoples of China and Costa Rica. Undoubtedly, there is an strategic alliance between the two countries ”commented on by Dr. Alberto Alape Girón, director of the ICP-UCR.

For the ambassador of the People’s Republic of Chine in Costa Rica, Mr. Tang Heng, solidarity and cooperation are the most powerful weapons to overcome a virus that knows no borders.

“We appreciate the IPC-UCR prestige and we recognize the promising future of this project. With this donation, and future coordinated actions, we hope to make this project an example for the joint fight against COVID-19 Between China and Latin American countries in the scientific and technological sector. My best wishes for the success of this ICP-UCR project. We are ready to work with Costa Rica to protect together the life and health of all the countries of the world ”, said Mr. Tang Heng.

Great help

But this was not the only contribution the Institute has received. The National Council for Scientific and Technological Research (Conicit) announced on April 16 the donation of another ₡ 35,000,000 of colones. The money allowed to buy 50 mg of another synthetic protein from SARS-COV-2. On that occasion, the protein comes from an English biotech company located in Oxford.

“We have had to act very quickly. The support we received from the Conicit and the embassy of the People’s Republic of China were essential to take the first steps in this project, “said Dr. Alape.
The director of the ICP-UCR commented that the immune response of horses has been found to be stronger than that of patients recovered from the infection.

“Without a doubt we are progressing in a very good way. Antibodies that recognize these proteins are expected to be able to neutralize the infectious capacity of the virus, “emphasized the director of ICP-UCR.

Future hope

In the medium term, the production of synthetic viral proteins from SARS-VOC-2 in the country could become a reality. Its use will be key for future studies on the immune response of people infected with the virus.

At these moments, a team of researchers from the Institute of Pharmaceutical Research (Inifar) and the Medical Virology Section of the Faculty of Microbiology, both from the UCR and led by Dr. Eugenia Corrales Aguilar, are working on a project that will allow produce this input.

“The first non-infectious proteins from SARS-COV-2 could be obtained between August to September. At this moment, the project is awaiting the approval of the Ethical Committee, then the Office of the Vice President for Research must register the project. Subsequently, you must send to request reagents and necessary supplies. So, it is a possible process but it will take time, ”said Dr. Corrales Aguilar.

With all the support received, the Director of ICP-UCR expressed his deep appreciation to Mr. Ambassador Tang Heng for the generosity of the government of the People’s Republic of China.

Also, to the Chancellery of the Republic and Mr. President Carlos Alvarado for the efforts made, whose support made the donation of this synthetic viral protein a reality.

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